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Museum Links Joe Di Maggio’s Early Years

Joe Di Maggio: The New “Bambino” — 1937

Di Maggio is no Pop-off Guy — 1941

Di Maggio Weds Marilyn Monroe at City Hall — 1954

Lefty O’Doul Day at Seals’ Stadium — 1938

Joe Di Maggio Dead at 84 — 1999

Joe Di Maggio Weds Marilyn Monroe at City Hall
by Art Hoppe

Joe Di Maggio and Marilyn Monroe at San Francisco City Hall after their marriage.

Joltin’ Joe Di Maggio wedded the girl of his and many other men’s dreams yesterday afternoon in the San Francisco City Hall.

Marilyn Monroe, who packs no mean jolt herself, said she was very happy. Di Maggio said he was also very happy. Also happy was the battery of columnists which has spent no little time in the past two years running down rumors that the two were already secretly married, were to be married, or were not speaking to each other.

The time and place of the wedding was kept a closely guarded secret and only about 500 people managed to hear about it in time to turn the corridors outside Municipal Judge Charles S. Perry’s court into a madhouse.

Marilyn, it seems, had made the mistake of calling her studio in Hollywood yesterday morning and letting it in on her plans to be married at 1 P.M. A studio official casually mentioned it as fast as he could to all the major news services.

Judge Perry’s chambers were jammed with reporters and photographers when the couple arrived shortly after 1 P.M. They posed willingly for pictures and politely answered questions.

“Are you excited, Marilyn?”

“Oh, you KNOW it’s more than that,” she answered, giggling.

“How many children are you going to have, Joe?”

“We’ll have at least one. I’LL guarantee that,” said the slugger.

When they came in Marilyn looked svelte in a dark brown broadcloth suit with an ermine collar, and Joe looked neat in a blue suit and a blue and white checked tie. By the time they finished kissing each other exhaustively for the photographers’ benefit, Marilyn’s blonde hair was in disarray, and most of her lipstick had been transferred to the ballplayer’s face.

At 1:30 P.M. Judge Perry, an old friend of Di Maggio, threw everybody out of his chambers so the solemnity of the occasion would remain inviolate.

However, reporters hanging over the transom were able to set down for posterity that the Judge began the ceremony at 1:46 P.M. and pronounced the couple man and wife at 1:48  P.M.

With that over, the doors of the chambers were unlocked and several times as many people as possible jammed their way in for a glimpse of the newly married pair.

After posing for more pictures, Di Maggio and a couple of friends formed a flying wedge and with Marilyn hanging to her husband’s coattails, they valiantly fought their way through the mob and down the third-floor corridor.

They finally fought their way into the clear only to discover that they had gone the wrong way and had wound up in a cul de sac. So the flying wedge turned around and valiantly fought its way through the crowd again.

This time they reached the elevator. But they found another crowd waiting at the first floor and Di Maggio evolved the strategy of descending to the basement.

“This is a fine thing—dodging your loyal fans like this, Joe,” said a member of the crowd who had wormed his way into the elevator. Di Maggio took umbrage and after much this and that shouted: “Don’t tell me what to do!”

Still another telepathic crowd was waiting in the basement and once again the little band had to fight its way through. Out in McAllister street, the couple jammed into a big blue Cadillac and posed once more.

Miss Monroe has been staying at Di Maggio’s sister’s house in the Marina since before the holidays. This past month climaxed a two-year courtship that could be described as anything but whirlwind. Friends report that the pair, neither of them the ebullient type, have been spending their evenings either watching television at home or quietly sitting in a back corner of Di Maggio’s restaurant.

Marilyn told reporters yesterday: “We’ve been thinking about it for a long time, but we were not too sure until we walked into the door here now.”

Di Maggio said he didn’t know where they would spend their honeymoon but they would “probably just get in the car and go” tonight.

In the excitement yesterday all sorts of things were forgotten. As Marilyn’s flying wedge bore her from the scene, she shouted, “I forgot my coat.” And she didn’t go back for it. Worse was Judge Perry’s oversight. When the excitement was over he announced with a cheerless sigh: “I forgot to kiss the bride.”

San Francisco Chronicle
January 15, 1954

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